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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ellison and two other Dems met w Farrakhan and Iran leader in 2013. on: February 12, 2018, 12:09:49 PM
http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/revealed-three-democrats-attended-private-dinner-with-irans-president-and-louis-farrakhan/
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Harvard and Berkeley among the worst for free speech on: February 12, 2018, 12:07:45 PM
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/feb/12/harvard-berkeley-among-top-10-worst-schools-free-s/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWW1Zek5qWmtNelF6TW1FeSIsInQiOiJyanB1aWcxMjBZc01nN3FnOXdqWlRRRFpvaDlpd3N1NUFWZlFjT3pnUkQxSU5NSFQwclcwZzhPQVwvWXBkRVE3dkVZMHcyazh0Q1wvM1Q3Y2txb1NJNncyMVE3ZFljT1c5VGI3Yk1ZN1RibWhyT1VHemQ0NGNkeTAxc0Q0cExVd2U1In0%3D
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media, Ministry of Truth Issues on: February 12, 2018, 11:54:44 AM
Not always a reliable source:

http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/bay-area-news-group-hammered-by-more-layoffs-resignations/
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why hasn't Britain banned Hezbollah? on: February 12, 2018, 11:52:53 AM
https://www.israelvideonetwork.com/why-is-britain-so-tolerant-of-muslim-terrorists-parading-in-their-streets/?omhide=true
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nunes investigating Brennan for Perjury; WSJ: Release the FISA Docs on: February 12, 2018, 11:46:33 AM
https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/02/11/former_cia_director_john_brennan_investigated_for_perjury.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/release-the-fisa-documents-1518383776


206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dreaming of Ishtar on: February 12, 2018, 11:40:48 AM
http://havokjournal.com/culture/books/dreaming-ishtar-land-two-rivers/?utm_source=Havok+Journal&utm_campaign=5e0d61755a-Havok_Journal_Weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_566058f87c-5e0d61755a-214571297
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Duarte: Shoot them in the vagina on: February 12, 2018, 11:34:41 AM


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/duterte-tells-philippine-soldiers-to-shoot-female-rebels-in-their-vaginas/2018/02/12/fd42c6ae-0fb0-11e8-827c-5150c6f3dc79_story.html?undefined=&utm_term=.cf255dc9d7d8&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Police shoot jihadi w sword attacking church on: February 12, 2018, 11:32:40 AM
Good to see this sign of Rule of Law

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/02/11/police-shoot-man-during-sword-attack-on-indonesian-church.html
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media, Ministry of Truth Issues on: February 12, 2018, 11:21:06 AM
Good to see that Breitbart has taken Caroline Glick on board.  With the departure of Bannon is it becoming a more serious and more responsible source of news?
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: February 12, 2018, 11:18:43 AM
Wasn't there something about how she got caught overstating her claims in this regard?
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Saudi Arabia & the Arabian Peninsula on: February 12, 2018, 11:17:28 AM
Indeed; as previously noted here, it comes in the aftermath of Bin Salman responding to President Trump's call to cast out the whackos.
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTP: President Trump not reading PDB, but not to worry, Jared is on: February 12, 2018, 11:16:31 AM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/which-is-scarier--that-trump-doesnt-read-his-daily-intel-briefing-or-that-jared-kushner-does/2018/02/11/faad67e4-0f30-11e8-9065-e55346f6de81_story.html?undefined=&utm_term=.8fad8ca18ee4&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glick: Syria, the war everyone must fight but no one can win on: February 11, 2018, 11:16:34 PM

Caroline Glick: Syria – The War Everyone Must Fight and No One Can Win
Caroline Glick 10 Feb 2018
 
Saturday morning’s violent clashes along the Israeli-Syria border between Israel on the one hand and Iran and Syrian regime forces on the other occurred against the backdrop of multiplying acts of war and violence among a seemingly endless roster of combatants.
To understand the significance and implications of the clashes – which saw Israel destroy an Iranian drone that penetrated its airspace and destroy the drone base in Syria from which the drone was deployed, and the downing of an Israeli F-16 by a massive barrage of Syrian anti-aircraft missiles – it is necessary to understand the basic logic of violence in Syria.



There are a dozen or so actors fighting in Syria. The US is fighting in coalition with the Kurdish dominated Syrian Democratic Forces. The Kurdish YPG militia is part of the SDF. Political representatives tied to the YPG have denied it, but the YPG is widely considered to be allied with the Turkish PKK group, which is listed as a terrorist group by the State Department and the Turkish government.

Russia is fighting with Iran, the Syrian-regime forces, Hezbollah and Iranian-organized Shiite militias that include fighters from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Russia also sometimes acts indirectly with Israel against its coalition partners. On the basis of understandings that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reached with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian forces in Syria do not interfere with Israeli air strikes against Iranian, Hezbollah and Syrian-regime targets which directly threaten Israel’s strategic interests.

The Turks are fighting largely independently. Sometimes they are supported by the U.S., sometimes they are supported by the Russians.



Turkey belatedly joined the anti-ISIS coalition led by the U.S. But the Turks’ main target in Syria is the Kurdish forces. Three weeks ago, the Turks launched yet another campaign against the Kurds in Syria. Their current operation is focused on the Afrin province controlled by YPG. But Turkey is also threatening Manbij, where US special forces are deployed in support of the SDF.

Non-ISIS rebel forces are being destroyed systematically by regime forces in Idlib province and in the Damascus suburban area known as Eastern Ghouta. According to a New York Times‘ summary of recent violence in Syria, regime forces have reportedly killed four hundred people, including a hundred children in Eastern Ghouta since December. Since the start of 2018, the Syrian regime reportedly carried out three chlorine gas attack against civilians in Ghouta.

As the New York Times noted, Ghouta was the site of the regime’s 2013 sarin gas attack which killed 1,400 people including 400 children. Then-president Barack Obama had said a year earlier that such an attack would be a red line that would provoke US action against the regime. Obama’s refusal to attack regime forces after the sarin gas attack empowered Russia, which deployed forces to Syria for the first time since the end of the Cold War in 2015.

Finally, there are ISIS forces. ISIS continues to control territory along the Syrian border with Iraq and pockets of territory in the vicinity of Deir Ezzor and Palmyra. Perhaps more importantly, ISIS forces from areas seized by coalition forces have melted away and are viewed as responsible for a spate of bombings in Damascus and elsewhere in recent months and weeks.



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Over the past several weeks, numerous articles have appeared analyzing the recent rise in violence in Syria. The main question is: why is the violence continuing? The prevailing sense in the West had been that, following ISIS’s loss of most of the territory it had held, the war had wound down. The U.S. and its allies had made their peace with Syrian President Bashar Assad’s survival and with Russia’s newfound role as powerbroker on the one hand. And, on the other hand, the Russians and their Iranian, Syrian, and Hezbollah allies had made their peace with Kurdish control over large swathes of former Syrian territory and their alliance with the U.S.




Israel, the U.S., and Turkey were seen as actors with specific issues which could be remedied with intermittent tactical strikes that wouldn’t challenge the overall post-civil war order.

This assessment was false because there is nothing tactical or limited about any of the parties’ interests and concerns relating to Syria.

Consider the Turks and the U.S. The Turks oppose Syrian Kurdish control over territory along the border with Turkey because they view it as a strategic threat to Turkey. Turkey’s Afrin offensive – which Ankara envisions as the first stage of a broader offensive which will include Manbij – also has implications that far exceed the borders of Syria or the wider Middle East.

Russia is supporting the Turkish anti-Kurdish offensive for reasons that have nothing to do with Syria and everything to do with Russia’s strategic rivalry for great power status with the US.

By supporting Turkey’s anti-Kurdish offensive, Russia is placing NATO member Turkey in direct confrontation with the US. If the US stands with the Kurds and Turkey fails to back down, then the likelihood that American and Turkish forces will fight one another in battle grows to near certainty. If this happens, Turkish membership in NATO will effectively end.



On the other hand, if the US doesn’t stand with the Syrian Kurds, the U.S. will lose its residual credibility as an ally in the region. The stakes in Syria are critical in light of the U.S.’s failure to defend its Iraqi Kurdish allies last October, when the US-trained Iraqi military wrested control over the oil-rich Kirkuk province from the Kurdish regional government in Erbil.

For the US then, Syria is a moment of truth. It can stand with its allies on the ground and so assure its long-term ability to work with allies in the Middle East and beyond. Or it can betray its allies on the ground and preserve the idea of its strategic alliance with Turkey, even though, on the ground, that alliance no longer exists.

This then brings us to Israel, and Saturday morning’s violent clashes with Iran.

Although Bashar Assad still holds the title President of Syria, to all intents and purposes, he is an Iranian puppet. His forces take their orders from Iran and Hezbollah. He has no independent power to make decisions about anything in Syria.

Israel has eyed this development with great and growing concern over the years. Iran’s assertion of control over Syria has massive implications for Israel’s national security. And, over the years, Israel has set and enforced specific red lines in Syria designed to prevent Iran’s effective control over Assad’s regime from passing specific limits. Israel’s red lines include blocking Iran from transferring precision-guided missiles, other advanced weapons systems and non-conventional weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syria territory including the Damascus airport. Israel’s red lines also include blocking Iran from setting up permanent bases in Syria. To enforce these and other red lines, over the years Israel has conducted repeated air attacks against targets in Syria.



Immediately after Putin first deployed his forces to Syria in 2015, Netanyahu flew to Russia to coordinate Israel’s air operations with him and prevent direct confrontations between Israeli and Russian forces. Since their first meeting, Netanyahu has flown to Russia on ten subsequent occasions to develop a working relationship with Putin with the aim of weakening his strategic commitment to Iranian power in the region and cultivating his perception of shared strategic interests with Israel in Syria and beyond.

Netanyahu’s last meeting with Putin was on January 29. In media briefings before and after their meeting, Netanyahu said that he spoke to Putin about three issues. First, due to Israel’s success in blocking Iran from transferring precision-guided missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syria, Iran is now building missile factories for Hezbollah inside of Lebanon. Netanyahu pledged to destroy those factories.

In his words, “Lebanon is becoming a factory for precision-guided missiles that threaten Israel. These missiles pose a grave threat to Israel, and we cannot accept this threat.”

Second, Netanyahu warned Putin that Israel will not accept Iranian military entrenchment in Syria through the construction of permanent bases, among other things. Netanyahu explained, “The question is: Does Iran entrench itself in Syria, or will this process be stopped. If it doesn’t stop by itself, we will stop it.”

Third, Netanyahu spoke to Putin about improving Obama’s nuclear deal with the Iranian regime.

Russia is both a resource and a threat to Israel. It is a resource because Russia is capable of constraining Iran and Hezbollah. Israel treated Russia as a resource Saturday, when in the wake of its violent confrontations with Iran, which included Israel’s Air Force’s first combat loss of an F-16 since the 1980s, Israel turned to the Russians with an urgent request for them to restrain the Iranians.

Russia is a threat to Israel because it is Iran’s coalition partner. Until Russia deployed its forces to Syria, it appeared that the regime and its Iranian overlords were losing the war, or at least unable to win it. After Russia began providing air support for their ground operations, the tide of the war reversed in their favor.





At any rate, Israel is in no position to persuade Russia to abandon Syria. Russia’s presence in the region limits Israel’s actions but also guarantees that Israel will continue to act, because its vital interests will continue to come under threat and intermittent attack.

In all, the situation in Syria is and will remain unstable and exceedingly violent for the foreseeable future. Syria is not only a local battlefield where various Syrian factions vie for control over separate areas of the country – although it remains such a local battlefield.

And it isn’t only a regional battlefield where Iran and its proxies seek to expand and entrench the Shiite crescent while preparing the ground for wars against Israel, and Israel is engaged around the clock in efforts to block their progress and curb their entrenchment. But it is a critical regional battlefield.

Syria is also a fight between superpowers. Russia owes its reemergence as a superpower in the Middle East to its entrenchment in Syria. And the U.S.’s ability to continue to assert its superpower status in the region is largely dependent on its willingness to stand its ground in Syria by among other things, blocking the Turks from defeating the Kurds.

None of the sides to the conflict can depend on their deterrent posture to prevent attacks or escalation because for deterrence to work, the warring sides need to acknowledge one another’s spheres of authority. This cannot happen because all of these battlefields represent wars that no side can lose – and as a result, no side can win. So the war will go on, indefinitely.

In Israel’s case, the best outcome at this point is that its responses to Iranian aggression, including its response Saturday, are powerful enough to convince the Iranians that they have no interest in a full-blown war. Ultimately, if Iran is defeated, it will likely be the result of developments on battlefields outside of Syria.

And it isn’t only a regional battlefield where Iran and its proxies seek to expand and entrench the Shiite crescent while preparing the ground for wars against Israel, and Israel is engaged around the clock in efforts to block their progress and curb their entrenchment. But it is a critical regional battlefield.

Syria is also a fight between superpowers. Russia owes its re-emergence as a superpower in the Middle East to its entrenchment in Syria. And America’s ability to continue to assert its superpower status in the region is largely dependent on its willingness to stand its ground in Syria by among other things, blocking the Turks from defeating the Kurds.

None of the sides to the conflict can depend on their deterrent posture to prevent attacks or escalation because for deterrence to work, the warring sides need to acknowledge one another’s spheres of authority. This cannot happen because all of these battlefields represent wars that no side can lose — and as a result, no side can win. So the war will go on, indefinitely.

In Israel’s case, the best outcome at this point is that its responses to Iranian aggression, including its response Saturday, will be powerful enough to convince the Iranians that they have no interest in a full-blown war. Ultimately, if Iran is defeated, it will likely be the result of developments on battlefields outside of Syria.
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Who is Christopher Steele? on: February 11, 2018, 12:36:57 PM
second post

Who Is Christopher Steele?
The man who revealed a vast international conspiracy but didn’t know his own client.
Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who set-up Orbis Business Intelligence and compiled a dossier on Donald Trump, in London.
Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who set-up Orbis Business Intelligence and compiled a dossier on Donald Trump, in London. Photo: Victoria Jones/Zuma Press
By Kimberley A. Strassel
Feb. 8, 2018 7:15 p.m. ET
1459 COMMENTS

America has been inundated by the words dossier, memo, collusion, FISA, Carter Page. They all come back to the actions of one man: Christopher Steele. Which is why the only news that matters this week is that the former British spy’s credibility has been dismantled.

To the extent the U.S. press has focused on Mr. Steele, it has been to portray him in heroic epic style. A Washington Post profile told how Mr. Steele, a former MI6 agent who left in 2009 to start his own firm, felt “professional obligations” to take his dossier to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That’s how “worried” and “rattled” and “alarmed” he was about the Trump -Kremlin “plot.” The FBI welcomed this “well-trusted” source, who had provided information in the past, as a “peer”—only later to let our hero down.

This is the narrative put forward by Mr. Steele and his paymaster, Fusion GPS. They and their press friends have an obvious interest in propagating it. But the new facts about Mr. Steele’s behavior destroy this tale, and show how badly the FBI got snookered.

To be sure, the FBI should have known better. Even if Mr. Steele had previously been helpful, the bureau had every reason to be wary in 2016. This wasn’t like prior collaborations. He was coming to the FBI as a paid political operative, hired by Fusion, as a subcontractor for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Opposition researchers are not retained to present considered judgment. They are retained to slime an opponent and benefit a client.

The FBI also had reason to view his research with skepticism—on grounds of its tabloid-like allegations, and also on the near-fantastical claim of skill that underlay it. To wit, that a man who had been out of official spy rings for seven years was nonetheless able, in a matter of weeks and with just a few calls from London, where he lives, to unravel an international conspiracy that had eluded the CIA, FBI, MI6 and every other Western intelligence agency, all of which have access to the globe’s most sophisticated surveillance tools.

But rather than proceed with caution, the FBI swallowed the whole package. According to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s declassified criminal referral, former Director James Comey testified that the bureau couldn’t meaningfully corroborate the dossier, but used it in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court proceedings anyway because Mr. Steele had previously provided “reliable” information.

Mr. Steele and Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson immediately proceeded to use the bureau to advance their client’s interests. They went to the press with a stream of briefings about the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign. Thanks to the FBI, Mr. Steele didn’t have to present the media with crazy-sounding oppo research about sexual perversion; he got to point to a full-on government investigation. The resulting stories were awesome for the Clinton campaign—but not so much for the FBI, since the Fusion crew had publicly tipped off the targets of its probe.

There is no excusing these actions. The FBI had expressly told Mr. Steele not to speak to anybody outside the bureau about the dossier. And Mr. Steele failed to disclose these briefings, or perhaps lied about them, since the FBI assured the FISA court that he was not talking to the press.

Mr. Simpson has claimed he never told Mr. Steele that Fusion was working for Mrs. Clinton, and maybe the ex-spy didn’t know. Though this requires us to believe that the man who unraveled an international conspiracy could not discover the identity of his own ultimate paymaster—or didn’t care. Our super sleuth also didn’t bat an eye over sucking up information from two notorious Clinton political operators, Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer. Either Mr. Steele knew and actively worked to help the Clinton campaign, or he didn’t and was nonetheless willing to undercut the FBI at Mr. Simpson’s behest.

Some Steele supporters have suggested that the motive for his press briefings was his worry that the FBI was not taking his claims seriously enough. Yet by Mr. Simpson’s own sworn testimony, that disillusion didn’t hit until a few days before the election, when the FBI reopened its probe into Mrs. Clinton’s negligent handling of classified emails. At the time of his September and October press blabbings, Mr. Steele was still working with the FBI and even talking to the bureau about a financial arrangement.

Is a reliable and credible source one who defies FBI orders, meets with the press, undercuts a probe, and lies about it? Is a professional someone who refuses to answer questions from congressional investigators, but is happy to spin a tale to friendly journalists?

Watch for the House Democrats, in their memo, to continue defending Mr. Steele despite all this. They have to. No credible Steele, no credible dossier. And no credible dossier means even more reason to worry that the FISA court and surveillance authority were abused in the election.
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Saudi Islamic Reform begins to gather traction on: February 11, 2018, 12:20:41 PM
https://clarionproject.org/saudi-cleric-abayas/
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / FBI Informant testimony on: February 11, 2018, 12:09:52 PM
https://www.dailywire.com/news/26891/bombshell-fbi-informant-uranium-one-scandal-ryan-saavedra?utm_source=cnemail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=021118-news&utm_campaign=position4
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Helluva Rant by Kate Millet's Sister! on: February 10, 2018, 02:05:12 PM
second post

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269251/my-sister-kate-destructive-feminist-legacy-kate-mark-tapson#.WnwqlDraWNI.twitter
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stephen Pinker: The Enlightenment is Working on: February 10, 2018, 01:40:26 PM
The Enlightenment Is Working
Don’t listen to the gloom-sayers. The world has improved by every measure of human flourishing over the past two centuries, and the progress continues, writes Steven Pinker.
The Enlightenment Is Working
Illustration: Robert Neubecker
By Steven Pinker
Feb. 9, 2018 10:49 a.m. ET
222 COMMENTS

For all their disagreements, the left and the right concur on one thing: The world is getting worse. Whether the decline is visible in inequality, racism and pollution, or in terrorism, crime and moral decay, both sides see profound failings in modernity and a deepening crisis in the West. They look back to various golden ages when America was great, blue-collar workers thrived in unionized jobs, and people found meaning in religion, family, community and nature.

Such gloominess is decidedly un-American. The U.S. was founded on the Enlightenment ideal that human ingenuity and benevolence could be channeled by institutions and result in progress. This concept may feel naive as we confront our biggest predicaments, but we can only understand where we are if we know how far we’ve come.

You can always fool yourself into seeing a decline if you compare rose-tinted images of the past with bleeding headlines of the present. What do the trajectories of the nation and world look like when we measure human well-being over time with a constant yardstick? Let’s look at the numbers (most of which can be found on websites such as OurWorldinData, HumanProgress and Gapminder).

Consider the U.S. just three decades ago. Our annual homicide rate was 8.5 per 100,000. Eleven percent of us fell below the poverty line (as measured by consumption). And we spewed 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide and 34.5 million tons of particulate matter into the atmosphere.

Fast forward to the most recent numbers available today. The homicide rate is 5.3 (a blip up from 4.4 in 2014). Three percent of us fall below the consumption poverty line. And we emit four million tons of sulfur dioxide and 20.6 million tons of particulates, despite generating more wealth and driving more miles.

Greater LiteracyThe proportion of people who can read andwrite has nearly swapped places with the proportion who could not 200 years ago.  Percentage of literate world populationSource: Calculated based on figures fromourworldindata.org
%1800’501900’5020000204060801002014x85.3%

Globally, the 30-year scorecard also favors the present. In 1988, 23 wars raged, killing people at a rate of 3.4 per 100,000; today it’s 12 wars killing 1.2 per 100,000. The number of nuclear weapons has fallen from 60,780 to 10,325. In 1988, the world had just 45 democracies, embracing two billion people; today it has 103, embracing 4.1 billion. That year saw 46 oil spills; 2016, just five. And 37% of the population lived in extreme poverty, barely able to feed themselves, compared with 9.6% today. True, 2016 was a bad year for terrorism in Western Europe, with 238 deaths. But 1988 was even worse, with 440.

The headway made around the turn of the millennium is not a fluke. It’s a continuation of a process set in motion by the Enlightenment in the late 18th century that has brought improvements in every measure of human flourishing.

Start with the most precious resource, life. Through most of human history, continuing into the 19th century, a newborn was expected to live around 30 years. In the two centuries since, life expectancy across the world has risen to 71, and in the developed world to 81.

When the Enlightenment began, a third of the children born in the richest parts of the world died before their fifth birthday; today, that fate befalls 6% of the children in the poorest parts. In those countries, infectious diseases are in steady decline, and many will soon follow smallpox into extinction.

The poor may not always be with us. The world is about a hundred times wealthier today than it was two centuries ago, and the prosperity is becoming more evenly distributed across countries and people. Within the lifetimes of most readers, the rate of extreme poverty could approach zero. Catastrophic famine, never far away in the past, has vanished from all but the most remote and war-ravaged regions, and undernourishment is in steady decline.

    ‘Our ancestors replaced dogma, tradition and authority with reason, debate and institutions of truth-seeking.’

Within developed countries, inequality is rising, but real poverty is not. A century ago, the richest countries devoted 1% of their wealth to children, the poor, the sick and the aged; today they spend almost a quarter of it. Most of their poor today are fed, clothed and sheltered and have luxuries like smartphones and air conditioning that used to be unavailable to anyone, rich or poor. Poverty among racial minorities has fallen, and poverty among the elderly has plunged.

The world is giving peace a chance. During most of the history of nations and empires, war was the natural state of affairs, and peace a mere interlude between wars. Today war between countries is obsolescent, and war within countries is absent from five-sixths of the world. The proportion of people killed annually in wars is about a quarter of what it was in the mid-1980s, a sixth of what it was in the early 1970s, and a 16th of what it was in the early 1950s.

In most times and places, homicides kill far more people than wars. But homicide rates have been falling as well and not just in the U.S. People in the rest of the world are now seven-tenths as likely to be murdered as they were two dozen years ago. Deaths from terrorism, terrifying as they may be, amount to a rounding error.

Life has been getting safer in every other way. Over the past century, Americans have become 96% less likely to be killed in an auto accident, 88% less likely to be mowed down on the sidewalk, 99% less likely to die in a plane crash, 59% less likely to fall to their deaths, 92% less likely to die by fire, 90% less likely to drown, 92% less likely to be asphyxiated, and 95% less likely to be killed on the job. Life in other rich countries is even safer, and life in poorer countries will get safer as they get richer.

More Wealth, Less PovertyIn the long term, prosperity has become moreevenly distributed across countries andpeople.Percentage of world population livingoutside extreme povertySource: Calculated based on figures fromourworldindata.orgNote: The definition of extreme poverty wasmeasured by the number of people living on less than$1 a day until 2002 when the benchmark was raisedto $1.90
%18501900’502000050100

Despite backsliding in countries like Russia, Turkey and Venezuela, the long-term trend in governance is toward democracy and human rights. Two centuries ago a handful of countries, embracing 1% of the world’s people, were democratic; today, more than half of the world’s countries, embracing 55% of its people, are.

Not long ago half the world’s countries had laws that discriminated against racial minorities; today more countries have policies that favor their minorities than policies that discriminate against them. At the turn of the 20th century, women could vote in just one country; today they can vote in every country where men can vote save one (Vatican City). Laws that criminalize homosexuality continue to be stricken down, and attitudes toward minorities, women and gay people are becoming steadily more tolerant, particularly among the young, a portent of the world’s future. Violence against women, children and minorities is in long-term decline, as is the exploitation of children for their labor.

As people are getting healthier, richer, safer and freer, they are also becoming more knowledgeable and smarter. Two centuries ago, 12% of the world could read and write; today 85% can. Literacy and education will soon be universal, for girls as well as for boys. The schooling, together with health and wealth, is literally making us smarter—by 30 IQ points, or two standard deviations above our ancestors.


People are putting their longer, healthier, safer, freer, richer and wiser lives to good use. Americans work 22 fewer hours a week than they did in the late 19th century and lose 43 fewer hours to housework. They have more opportunities to use their leisure to travel, spend time with children, connect with loved ones and sample the world’s cuisine, knowledge and culture.

Thanks to these gifts, people in a majority of countries have become happier. Even Americans, who take their good fortune for granted and have stagnated in happiness, call themselves “pretty happy” or happier. And despite the panic about “kids today” (heard in every era), younger generations are less unhappy, lonely, drug-addicted and suicidal than their Boomer parents.

As societies become wealthier and better educated, they raise their sights to the entire planet. Since the dawn of the environmental movement in the 1970s, the world has emitted fewer pollutants, cleared fewer forests, spilled less oil, set aside more preserves, extinguished fewer species, saved the ozone layer and may have peaked in its consumption of oil, farmland, timber, cars and perhaps even coal.

* * *

To what do we owe this progress? Does the universe contain a historical dialectic or arc bending toward justice? The answer is less mysterious: The Enlightenment is working. Our ancestors replaced dogma, tradition and authority with reason, debate and institutions of truth-seeking. They replaced superstition and magic with science. And they shifted their values from the glory of the tribe, nation, race, class or faith toward universal human flourishing.

Longer LivesFalling child mortality has helped the averagelife expectancy at birth to more than double.Life ExpectancySource: ourworldindata.org
.years1800’501900’50200020304050607080

These developments have been gradual and uneven, with many backtracks and zigzags. But the happy developments of the last two centuries are the cumulative gifts of the brainchildren they spawned.

● Disease was decimated by vaccines, sanitation, antibiotics and other advances in medicine and public health, driven by the germ theory of disease and our understanding of evolution, physiology and genetics.

● Famine was stanched by crop rotation, synthetic fertilizer, the replacement of muscle by machinery and the selective breeding of vigorous hybrids.

● Poverty was slashed by education, markets, global trade and cheaper food and clothing, together with social programs that support the young, old, sick and unlucky.

● Violent crime was tamed by a replacement of the code of vendetta by the rule of law, by fairer judicial systems and, most recently, by data-driven policing.

● Everyday hazards were blunted by safety regulations and engineering, driven by an increasing valuation of human life. A similar combination of regulation and technology is ramping down pollution.

● Oppression and discrimination may persist in some places by brute force, but they start to corrode when educated, mobile and connected people exchange ideas and are forced to justify their practices.

● War is being marginalized by the spread of democracy (which inhibits leaders from turning their youth into cannon fodder), global commerce (which makes trade more profitable than plunder), peacekeeping forces (which separate belligerents and extinguish flare-ups) and competent governments (which outcompete insurgents for the allegiance of their citizens). Also driving war down are norms against conquest, enforced by the international community with shaming, sanctions and occasionally armed intervention.

* * *

The evidence for progress raises many questions.

Isn’t it good to be pessimistic, many activists ask—to rake the muck, afflict the comfortable, speak truth to power? The answer is no: It’s good to be accurate. We must be aware of suffering and injustice where they occur, but we must also be aware of how they can be reduced. Indiscriminate pessimism can lead to fatalism: to wondering why we should throw time and money at a hopeless cause. And it can lead to radicalism: to calls to smash the machine, drain the swamp or empower a charismatic tyrant.

Wider Democracy Only one in a hundred people lived under some form of democracy two centuries ago; now, most do. Percentage of world population living in a democracy Source: Calculated based on figures from our world in data.org
%18501900’502000020406080

Is progress inevitable? Of course not! Solutions create new problems, which must be solved in their turn. We can always be blindsided by nasty surprises, such as the two World Wars, the 1960s crime boom and the AIDS and opioid epidemics.

And the greatest global challenges remain unsolved. This does not mean they are unsolvable. In 2015 the world’s nations came to a historic agreement on climate change in Paris, and pathways to decarbonization, including carbon pricing and zero-emission technologies, have been laid out. Since the closing days of World War II, nuclear weapons have not been used in almost 73 years of saber-rattling (including standoffs with the half-mad despots Stalin and Mao), and the New Start treaty between the U.S. and Russia, capping nuclear arsenals, went into full effect just this week.

On these matters, the policies of President Donald Trump —denial of climate change, planned withdrawal from the Paris accord, provocation of North Korea, nuclear arms expansion—are alarming. But continued progress is in the interests of the rest of the world, and numerous states, countries, corporations, political actors and sectors of the military are pushing back against the intemperate plans of the administration.


How should we think about future progress? We must not sit back and wait for problems to solve themselves, nor pace the streets with a sandwich board proclaiming that the end of the world is nigh. The advances of the past are no guarantee that progress will continue; they are a reminder of what we have to lose. Progress is a gift of the ideals of the Enlightenment and will continue to the extent that we rededicate ourselves to those ideals.

Are the ideals of the Enlightenment too tepid to engage our animal spirits? Is the conquest of disease, famine, poverty, violence and ignorance … boring? Do people need to believe in magic, a father in the sky, a strong chief to protect the tribe, myths of heroic ancestors?

I don’t think so. Secular liberal democracies are the happiest and healthiest places on earth, and the favorite destinations of people who vote with their feet. And once you appreciate that the Enlightenment project of applying knowledge and sympathy to enhance human flourishing can succeed, it’s hard to imagine anything more heroic and glorious.

Mr. Pinker is Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. This essay is adapted from his new book, “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress,” which will be published by Viking on Feb. 13.
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: February 10, 2018, 01:32:55 PM
Thank you very much GM!
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sharyll Attkinson: Looks like FBI violated Woods Procedures on: February 10, 2018, 01:31:46 PM
http://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/372233-nunes-memo-raises-question-did-fbi-violate-woods-procedures
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: The Bernanke Correction on: February 10, 2018, 11:56:11 AM
The Bernanke Correction
Asset prices are adjusting as financial repression ends.
By The Editorial Board
Feb. 9, 2018 7:13 p.m. ET


The stock market continued its wild swings Friday, finishing up for the day but still concluding the worst week in nearly a decade. Look for more such gyrations as investors adapt to the return of market-based interest rates.

In his typical way, Donald Trump lumbered into part of the truth this week with a tweet. “In the ‘old days,’ when good news was reported, the Stock Market would go up,” he wrote. “Today, when good news is reported, the Stock Market goes down. Big mistake, and we have so much good (great) news about the economy!”

He’s referring to the paradox that stock prices fell despite a strengthening U.S. and global economy. But Mr. Trump is missing that faster growth requires a fundamental shift in the monetary policy of the past decade. In particular this means the looming end to the financial repression that the Federal Reserve has been practicing since the financial panic. In that sense this is the Ben Bernanke correction, as the Fed and other central banks unwind the former Fed chairman’s unprecedented monetary experiment.

For nearly a decade the Fed has intervened in financial markets to repress the long end of the bond market. It scooped up the bulk of new long Treasury bonds, as the European and Japanese central banks later did in their economies. The idea was to push investors into riskier assets like real estate, junk bonds and stocks as they sought greater returns that they couldn’t get in Treasurys. The policy worked as asset prices rose, though it did far less for the real economy and workers without assets.

Janet Yellen maintained the Bernanke policy as long as she could, and only recently has the Fed started to unwind its asset purchases and raise interest rates. Europe and Japan still haven’t begun, but faster growth suggests the end of the Bernanke era beckons there too. This is what investors are anticipating, even as they see the good news that economic growth is accelerating.

Volatility and interest-rate risk are thus returning to equities. This doesn’t mean all of the stock gains in recent years have been an artificial “sugar high.” Higher earnings have also been important. But it does mean that asset prices will reset based on the anticipation of more normal monetary policy and the return of real interest rates.

Keep in mind that no one really knows how this will turn out because there is literally no precedent for the monetary policy of the past decade. Mr. Bernanke and Ms. Yellen have left new Chairman Jay Powell the difficult task of reversing their Fed policy without tanking the economy. Eventually asset prices will find a new level that reflects economic fundamentals, but the process may be messy, as this week suggests.

The good news is that U.S. economic fundamentals are as strong as they’ve been since 2005, and maybe 1999. And in that sense the Trump -GOP policy mix of tax reform and deregulation is well timed. The Trump policies and faster growth around the world are crucial if we are going to keep the expansion going and live through the end of financial repression. We need supply-side incentives to drive growth to survive the Bernanke-Yellen monetary correction.

One irony of the current moment is that the Keynesians who presided over nearly a decade of secular stagnation are now worried that the economy is “overheating.” Then again, they said faster growth wasn’t possible, so they almost have to dismiss it.

Mr. Trump’s instinct as a real-estate guy is always to want lower interest rates. But the more he demands low rates amid faster economic growth, the higher rates he is likely to see and sooner than he imagines. Faster economic growth and a tight labor market will mean rising wages for the working men and women who elevated him to the White House. Stocks will eventually adjust and follow a growing economy, and Mr. Trump needs to let the Fed continue on its path back to normal.
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 75% of Mexican immigrants are receiving welfare? on: February 10, 2018, 11:53:04 AM
Second post

Tucker Carlson, whom I think is a responsible player, cited this number last night-- can we find a proper citation for it?
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Trump has Dems over a barrel on DACA on: February 10, 2018, 11:51:40 AM


http://www.dickmorris.com/trump-dems-barrel-daca-lunch-alert/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NRO: US Strategy is "Hold the Line" on: February 10, 2018, 11:46:37 AM
I found this article interesting


http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456165/us-should-maintain-military-afghanistan?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Monday%20through%20Friday%202018-02-07&utm_term=NR5PM%20Actives
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Israel hits Syria in response to Iranian Drone on: February 10, 2018, 11:33:34 AM
Iran begins to probe from its coalescing landbridge

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/israel-carries-out-large-scale-attack-in-syria-after-israeli-jet-crashes-under-anti-aircraft-fire/2018/02/10/89e0ca2c-0e33-11e8-95a5-c396801049ef_story.html?undefined=&utm_term=.d97a2f840fdc&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Will China Impose a New World Order? on: February 10, 2018, 11:28:53 AM
Will China Impose a New World Order?
When Pax Britannica gave way to Pax Americana, the transition was peaceful. A repeat is unlikely, says the author of ‘Safe Passage.’
By Tunku Varadarajan
Feb. 9, 2018 6:32 p.m. ET
129 COMMENTS

When Kori Schake was a senior at Stanford in 1984, she enrolled in a seminar on Soviet politics taught by Condoleezza Rice, then 29. The two young women hit it off. “I was a dreamy, impractical kid, and didn’t have a plan for what I was going to do after I graduated,” says Ms. Schake (pronounced “shocky”). “Condi saw me at loose ends and offered me a job as her research assistant.” They worked together for a year on a book about “elite selection in the military that Condi never ended up writing. But I read everything about what makes the American military tick. Everything.”

Thirty-four years later, Ms. Schake has written a book—her fourth—whose jacket carries a glowing blurb from her illustrious former professor. The book, “Safe Passage,” traces the international order’s transition from British to American hegemony. With all of the talk of China’s rise and what it will mean for the U.S., Ms. Schake says, she “got curious about the history of transitions between a rising power and an established global hegemon. The only peaceful transition in all of history, I found, is the one between Britain and the United States.” (Ms. Schake has made that transition in reverse. She moved earlier this month from Stanford to London, where she is an executive at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a defense think tank.)

The U.S. did not fully supplant Britain until 1945. But the American challenge began in 1823 with the Monroe Doctrine, under which the U.S. declared the Western Hemisphere to be its own exclusive zone of influence. “It was the first opportunity the United States had to assert a different calculus for the rules of international order,” Ms. Schake says. “A hegemon isn’t just a country that’s powerful or wealthy, but one that aspires to set the rules and is willing to enforce them.”

Is China the next hegemon? President Xi Jinping appears to challenge the U.S. frequently and deliberately. Ms. Schake agrees that Mr. Xi is “clearly telegraphing that China wants different rules.” She points to the “One Belt, One Road” initiative—a plan to establish a China-centered global trading network that would extend to Western Europe, Northern Africa and Australia, under which Beijing would make loans to countries that need to expand their infrastructure. She also cites Beijing’s aggressive maritime claims, most prominently in the South China Sea, to which “Chinese scholars make comparisons with the Monroe Doctrine. It’s a legitimation device, by which they say, ‘You had your sphere of influence when you were a rising power. Now we have our sphere.’ ”
Will China Impose a New World Order?
Illustration: Terry Shoffner

Not that Ms. Schake thinks the U.S. should accede. “There’s no reason for us to accept that Chinese assertion,” she says, because China’s neighbors—over whom Beijing seeks to impose its will—are “friends and partners and allies of the United States. We aren’t a modern parallel of European states seeking to colonize Latin America.”

Most states in the Asia-Pacific region seem content with the existing order, and “by being so brazen and uncooperative during its rise, China has actually activated the antibodies that will help prevent its success.” The exception is the Philippines, which has cozied up to Mr. Xi, “but that has less to do with China and more to do with the leadership in Manila”—a reference to the maverick Filipino president, Rodrigo Duterte.


In her book, however, she warns that “America is making the same strategic choice with China that Great Britain did with a rising America,” in assuming that the rising power “can be induced to comply with extant rules.” Does that mean that the Pax Americana must someday give way to a Pax Sinica? After all, that British tactic of accommodation helped pave the way for the U.S. to take over world leadership.

Ms. Schake demurs. “What the U.S. is saying to China,” she says, “is that if you behave as a liberal political and economic power in the international order, we’ll help you succeed in the existing global order.” The U.S. expects China to understand that “our allies will be protected, even if China is the challenger. If the autonomy or security of South Korea and Japan, Australia or Taiwan, is challenged, we’ll defend them.”

The U.S. has also made clear that disputes over territories and waters need to be resolved by peaceful negotiation. China, says Ms. Schake, will not be allowed to “use force to impose its will on weaker states in the region.”

Ms. Schake worries about the Trump administration’s protectionist inclinations: “I do think that President Trump is calling into question some of the fundamental rules of the liberal international order that the hard men who won World War II created in its aftermath.” Free trade, she says, “undergirds political relationships. Prosperity gives states reasons to cooperate, and to broaden participation in a liberal order.”

She fears that Mr. Trump “does not seem persuaded by those fundamental American arguments,” and she laments his withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ms. Schake invokes the late Nobel economics laureate who supervised her doctoral dissertation: “ Tom Schelling would be shaking his head if he were here, saying that Trump gave that enormous strategic advantage to China without even getting anything in return.”

The good news is that the other 11 members of the trade deal “have determined to continue to try to bring the TPP into effect without the United States. So it’s an example of the liberal international order being sustained without American leadership.”

And Ms. Schake’s overall view of the administration’s foreign policy is favorable. Trade, she says, is “the only area in which Trump has, so far, been demonstrably damaging to the liberal international order.” In other areas, she thinks the administration “has actually made policy decisions consistent with the existing order,” even if Mr. Trump is an “outlier” regarding the philosophy on which it rests.

She points to Mr. Trump’s “continuing to assist Afghanistan until it has the ability to secure its own territory from threats to itself and to us.” She also cites U.S. assistance to the government of Iraq, “to secure it against malign external and internal influence,” as well as support for the security of “our stalwart Asian allies.” Besides, she says, Mr. Trump’s predecessor was hardly a champion of the Pax Americana: “I think you could make a strong case that President Obama’s foreign policy was one of retrenchment, shifting burdens onto allies and off America’s shoulders.”

As for China, Ms. Schake says she is “less convinced than many other people” that its rise will continue. But if Beijing does seriously challenge the U.S., she is “deeply skeptical that a hegemonic transition would happen peacefully.” A fundamental difference between the two countries is that even when the U.S. acts in ways that many would regard as globally unpopular, it does so while sincerely proclaiming universal values.

What values might a hegemonic China impart on the world? “Their leadership is groping to come up with something,” Ms. Schake says. “Xi has talked about the Chinese Dream, but it’s of a prosperous China where people don’t agitate for political control, where they trust the leadership to do the right thing for them.”

The unwillingness of major Western leaders to endorse One Belt, One Road illustrates for Ms. Schake “how much concern the established powers—the U.S., France, Britain—have about China attempting to change the rules.” She cites with evident pleasure Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s remark last year: that in a globalized world “there are many belts and many roads.” Mr. Mattis and Ms. Schake are close friends and longtime colleagues, and have edited a book together.

The Chinese initiative has also served, unintentionally, to highlight the attractions of the American-led international order: “The rules we established are advantageous not only to us, but also foster prosperity and peace for other countries.” The rest of the world sees its interests advanced by sustaining the current system, and the U.S. rarely has to enforce the rules. As Ms. Schake puts it, “we get the advantage of playing team sports because of the nature of the rules we’ve established.” That isn’t true for China. It claims One Belt, One Road is mutually advantageous, “but other countries’ concerns about sovereignty and what happens if loan terms aren’t met may yet stall China’s ambitions.”

In other words, unless China can come up with a more attractive narrative about itself and its ambitions, most countries will continue to favor the American-led order. “We have been a clumsy hegemon, certainly,” Ms. Schake says, “but we have also been a largely beneficent one.”

Mr. Varadarajan is a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump administration considering FDI reciprocity on: February 10, 2018, 11:17:11 AM
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Feb 10, 2018 | 15:25 GMT
3 mins read
Tit for Tat? The Shape of U.S. Restrictions on Chinese FDI
An investor in China examines a map showing investment opportunities in real estate, including in the United States.
(MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
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    In hopes of forcing China to open further, the United States is considering investment restrictions that would mirror those imposed by China.
    China’s investment goals are to cement its position in the stable, developed U.S. economy and fuel growth in sectors key to its economic transition.
    As such, China has two concerns: Sectors where its own restrictions will mean harsh U.S. measures and those sectors of high priority to Beijing.

In its ongoing pushback against Chinese trade and investment, the White House is reportedly mulling restrictions on Chinese investment that mirror the restrictions imposed by Beijing on U.S. investment in China. Since 2005, the United States has attracted approximately 10 percent of all outbound Chinese foreign direct investment, or FDI. The amount of Chinese FDI heading to the United States has grown tremendously since 2010 in parallel with more Chinese investment in developed markets generally, particularly in those that Beijing has sought to beef up domestically. Because of China’s tight investment policies, the possible move by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration could have a major impact on the billions of dollars Beijing pours into U.S. industries, especially in sectors that China has prioritized for growth, such as technology, consumer goods and services. It bears noting that Washington is contemplating such measures only against China, but the nature of Chinese investment in the United States provides an indication of the course U.S. authorities may pursue.
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Congress very productive during the Civil War on: February 10, 2018, 11:11:17 AM
http://www.dickmorris.com/productive-congress-ever-1861-65-history-video/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How Brennan targetted Comey on: February 10, 2018, 10:50:08 AM
Papadoulas story came from Brits not the Aussies?  Isn't Steele Brit?

"In other words, the FBI investigation didn’t start when the Australians, according to the Times—or the Brits, according to Brennan’s most recent version of the story—contacted the FBI after the Papadopoulos-Downer meeting. No, it started when the director of the CIA decided to start an investigation, when Brennan passed on information and intelligence to the FBI, and signaled that the bureau better act on it."

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/255020/how-cia-director-john-brennan-targeted-james-comey

230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: The Trump Spending Binge on: February 09, 2018, 04:36:27 PM
The Trump Spending Binge
An unconventional presidency suddenly becomes very conventional.
President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Friday.
President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Friday. Photo: jim lo scalzo/epa-efe/rex/shutte/EPA/Shutterstock
By James Freeman
Feb. 9, 2018 3:28 p.m. ET
415 COMMENTS

The federal government briefly shut down in the early morning hours on Friday before the Congress passed and the President signed a new license to spend. The Journal reports:

    The two-year budget deal will boost federal spending for both the military and domestic programs by almost $300 billion over two years, in addition to nearly $90 billion in disaster aid for areas recovering from last year’s destructive storms. It will also suspend the government’s borrowing limit through March 1, 2019.

    After signing the bill on Friday morning, President Trump lamented the increase in domestic spending...

No doubt many Americans are lamenting it too. Even the brief overnight shutdown doesn’t seem to have saved taxpayers a nickel. This afternoon, the White House issued the following press release:

    On Friday, February 9, 2018, the President signed into law:

    H.R. 1301, the “Continuing Appropriations Amendments Act, 2018,” which authorizes the retroactive compensation of employees furloughed as a result of a lapse in appropriations that began on or about February 9, 2018.

What’s the fun of a shutdown if the President is unwilling to see even a single bureaucratic moment go uncompensated? The man who triggered the shutdown is Sen. Rand Paul (R. Ky). He explains why in an op-ed in Time magazine today and argues that the agreement will boost spending even more than the headline numbers:

    The Senate was set to vote on a 700-page bill that added over $500 billion in new spending to our already out-of-control debt. It was a massive and destructive bargain struck by the leaders of both parties, where both got to blow up the spending “caps” they agreed to just a few short years ago.

    I simply asked for one thing in this broken process: a 15-minute vote on whether those caps should or should not be broken. The furor this request set off among leadership, the wailing and screeching among Big Government advocates in Congress and in the media — well, you would think I had asked them to shut down forever.

Unfortunately Mr. Paul was just as successful in reducing the spending in the bill as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was in forcing changes to immigration law. Both lawmakers did manage to annoy their colleagues, which should count for something. But the budget deal was enacted without immigration reform and without financial restraint.

The Trump spending blowout is particularly dangerous because, as stock investors have noticed lately, interest rates are headed north. Washington will spend about $300 billion this year in net interest payments on the federal debt. Last summer the Congressional Budget Office estimated that this annual burden will grow to more than $800 billion by 2027, when it is expected to be more expensive than the entire Medicaid program by some $163 billion per year. This depressing scenario assumes the average annual interest rate paid by Washington rises to just 3.5% by then, still relatively modest by historical standards.

Washington’s accounting generally ignores the costs of its unfunded liabilities--promises to provide entitlements into the future. But even the debt the government formally acknowledges has grown to $20.5 trillion, with nearly $15 trillion held by the public.

Mr Trump has in many ways been a refreshingly unconventional President, for example by ignoring Beltway custom and slashing the tax and regulatory burden on American business. But his new budget deal suggests that he may not care about spending restraint much more than his recent predecessors did.

Now along comes a debate on infrastructure, and David Harsanyi provides a timely reminder that Americans are already paying for a lot of it, whether via the federal gasoline tax or other mechanisms of government:

    Perhaps because they’re constantly being told that America’s roads are on the verge of disintegrating into dust, some voters aren’t aware that federal, state and local governments spent $416 billion on transportation and water infrastructure in 2014—around the same 2.4 percent of gross domestic product they’ve been spending for decades. About $165 billion of that $416 billion, incidentally, was spent on highways. (This doesn’t count the bipartisan Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015, which added another $305 billion over five years.)

Here’s hoping our negotiator-in-chief can artfully craft a deal to encourage private investors to build without taxpayer funding.
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Representative Keith Ellison and Farrakhan together again on: February 09, 2018, 04:33:29 PM
Keith Ellison, Louis Farrakhan and Iran
The DNC’s deputy chairman hasn’t told the full story.
Rep. Keith Ellison in Washington, March 21, 2017.
Rep. Keith Ellison in Washington, March 21, 2017. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
By Jeryl Bier
Feb. 8, 2018 7:14 p.m. ET
39 COMMENTS

When Rep. Keith Ellison ran for Democratic National Committee chairman, he faced questions about past associations with the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in December 2016, Mr. Ellison angrily accused his critics of a “smear campaign” for “talking about something that happened in 1995,” when Mr. Ellison was 32. It turns out Mr. Ellison—who lost his bid but is now the DNC’s deputy chairman—wasn’t telling the full story.

In 2006, during his first run for Congress from Minnesota, Mr. Ellison conceded he had worked with the Nation of Islam for 18 months before the October 1995 Million Man March. In a letter, he assured Jewish groups: “I reject and condemn the anti-Semitic statements and actions of the Nation of Islam [and] Louis Farrakhan. ”

A decade later, during the DNC leadership contest, he accused Mr. Farrakhan and his organization of sowing “hatred and division, including, anti-Semitism, homophobia and a chauvinistic model of manhood. I disavowed them long ago, condemned their views, and apologized.”

In September 2013, however, Messrs. Ellison and Farrakhan dined together. The occasion was a visit by Iran’s newly elected President Hassan Rouhani to the United Nations. Mr. Rouhani invited Muslim leaders from around the U.S. to dinner after addressing the U.N. General Assembly. Contemporaneous news reports placed Mr. Farrakhan at the dinner. Unreported by mainstream outlets was the presence of Mr. Ellison, along with Reps. Gregory Meeks of New York and Andre Carson of Indiana. (All three are Democrats; Messrs. Ellison and Carson are Muslim.)

The Nation of Islam website documents the event, noting that Mr. Rouhani “hosted the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Muslim leaders from different Islamic communities and members of the U.S. Congress at a private meeting . . . at the One UN Hotel in Manhattan Sept. 24, 2013 across the street from the UN headquarters.” The Final Call, a Nation of Islam publication, added that “ Keith Ellison of Minnesota . . . participated in the dialogue” after dinner and includes photos of Messrs. Farrakhan and Ellison at the tables. The Michigan-based Islamic House of Wisdom also reported on the meeting, with additional photos.

According to Mr. Farrakhan, the 2013 meeting was not the last time he and Mr. Ellison were together. After Mr. Ellison renewed his denunciation of Mr. Farrakhan in 2016, Mr. Farrakhan stated in an interview that Reps. Ellison and Carson had visited him in his Washington hotel suite the preceding summer.

When Mr. Ellison sought the DNC position, he received support from many Jewish leaders and prominent politicians. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer dismissed concerns rather glibly: “I’m not worried about the Israel stuff.”

The press secretaries for Messrs. Ellison, Carson and Schumer did not answer emails seeking comment. Mr. Meeks’s press secretary said his boss had no response.

Democratic members of Congress and even Barack Obama have so far gotten a pass for their recently revealed Farrakhan connections. Rep. Danny Davis of Illinois called Mr. Farrakhan an “outstanding human being.” Will Mr. Schumer and other prominent Democrats hold their colleagues to account for associating with someone who, as Mr. Ellison admits, sows hatred and division?

Mr. Bier is an accountant and freelance writer.
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sen. Mark Warner, secret sleuth on: February 09, 2018, 02:58:29 PM
https://www.dailywire.com/news/26956/sen-mark-warner-texted-russian-oligarch-lobbyist-joseph-curl
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mollie Hemingway on the pravdas burying the stories on: February 09, 2018, 02:36:45 PM
http://thefederalist.com/2018/02/08/how-the-media-buried-two-huge-fbi-stories-yesterday/#.Wnxnlvbl06p.twitter
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / OTOH on: February 09, 2018, 02:34:32 PM
By Adam Bell for the Australian Institute of International Affairs

Following Wall Street's lead, this week has seen dramatic plunges across share markets the world over. Seemingly paradoxically, the fall was sparked by good economic news: US wages, and consequently inflation, were finally growing after years in the doldrums. Interest rate rises are likely on the way. Speculation is now rampant as to what is really going on: is this merely a correction amid record stock price highs? Or are we witnessing the beginning of the next big financial crash?
The Birth of the Bubble

Recent growth predictions certainly belie the more pessimistic outlook. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) began the year by announcing it was revising global growth figures upwards. Although the forecasted economic improvement was predicated on a Republican tax bill that the IMF deems damaging to the US economy in the long-run, it nevertheless predicted the tax bill would have a positive immediate impact. In the short run, it was deemed likely to galvanise an already promising global economy experiencing the "broadest synchronised global growth upsurge since 2010".

At face value, such a proclamation does indeed seem justified. Europe is witnessing its best economic conditions in a decade, with GDP growth hitting 2.5 per cent in 2017. The American economy is also proving to be robust, and is facing its lowest level of unemployment in 17 years. China, meanwhile, has continued to confound predictions of economic slowdown by increasing its GDP growth in 2017. Taken together, such news seems to indicate a global economy finally strengthening after years of weak growth following the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Unfortunately, as the recent share selloff hints at, a latent crisis lies beneath all the good news. While the return to growth represents the beginning of a long-awaited recovery, it is also a harbinger of the end to an extraordinary era of monetary policy. To understand why, it is necessary to understand what this policy entailed. When financial markets froze and the global economy tanked during the GFC, central banks embraced a little-tested, controversial measure known as quantitative easing to stimulate moribund economies.
Easy Money

Quantitative easing involves the mass purchase of safe assets (mostly government bonds) by central banks to inject liquidity into financial markets and lower the cost of lending. When banks effectively ceased lending and economic activity collapsed during the GFC, quantitative easing functioned to restore confidence and boost demand. It was used in Europe, the US and Japan, and did indeed prove effective; combined with massive government spending programs, the world economy halted its tailspin faster than it did during the most recent comparable financial collapse, the Great Depression.

The problem, however, is that quantitative easing was supposed to be a short-term measure; instead, it has persisted for a decade. The post-GFC era has been one of tepid growth and low inflation. Fearing that withdrawing their exceptional support might undermine already feeble growth, central banks have continued massive bond-buying programs to prop up shaky financial markets. This is most clearly seen via the balance sheets of the American, Japanese and European central banks: their assets grew from just over USD$3 trillion (AUD$3.8 trillion) in 2007 to around USD$15 trillion today.

The consequences of this have been profound. Although it has largely taken until 2018 for a real recovery to get underway, recent years have seen asset and equity prices skyrocket to record highs. This has been most apparent throughout global stock markets, but can also be seen in the booming housing prices of the West and unwaveringly high bond prices. The surge in prices can be explained via economics 101: demand has massively increased as cheap money has sloshed throughout financial systems, while the supply of assets has remained constrained.
A Dangerous Addiction

The reason for this constraint? Look to a phenomenon known as secular stagnation. Recently popularised by former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, secular stagnation posits that the long-term growth potential for developed countries shifts permanently lower due to a variety of limiting factors. Chief among these today are ageing populations and stagnant productivity. Importantly, lower growth means diminished prospects for profitable investments. This, combined with endless money-printing, has created the dangerous asset price inflation that we see today. More money has gone after less opportunities, leading to what Summers' predicted would be "a prolonged period in which satisfactory growth can only be achieved by unsustainable financial conditions".

Such unsustainable financial conditions were pressingly highlighted by Professor William White, a chief economist at the OECD, during the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. Professor White painted a dangerous picture of global finance. He pointed out that global debt levels have vaulted well beyond the levels seen prior to the GFC, with debt fuelled by quantitative easing in the West flowing into risky investments in developing markets. Furthermore, he asserts that Western credit markets are showing signs of deterioration daily, as repayment problems begin to emerge across a variety of unsustainable debts instruments issued in markets desperate for decent returns. Most disturbingly, he declared that market indicators appeared strikingly similar to just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers at the height of the GFC.

It is not surprising that financial markets caught serious jitters when faced with the prospect of the end to quantitative easing and a rise in interest rates. But while the story of stock market falls is undoubtedly ominous, the more daunting concern pertains to what might happen next. The world's weak recovery from the GFC has seen government debt levels rise almost unanimously throughout the world's economies. Central banks have kept interest rates near zero while feverishly propping up financial markets. If a financial crisis were to emerge, the traditional tools of fiscal stimulus and expansionary monetary policy would be largely unavailable to much of the developed world. Despite good news to start the year, dark clouds loom over the global economy in 2018.
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 09, 2018, 02:26:40 PM
That is some wicked snark there GM!
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury: Just a correction on: February 09, 2018, 01:45:43 PM
As always, Wesbury is articulate, but is he addressing the spending implications longer term of ending the Sequester and Trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see and the effects of all this on interest rates, the cost of servicing a $20+T debt-- now at $400B? per year?!?

=================================
This is Just a Correction...

Last year US stock markets experienced the least volatile year on record, hitting new highs seemingly every day. Then came the tax reform bill to end 2017, and a huge January with the S&P 500 rising 5.6%. Investors, especially individuals who finally became convinced that the rally would go on, piled in. It wasn't massive 1999-style euphoria, but many investors finally succumbed to the fear of missing out.

And as if on cue, sentiment (but not fundamentals) shifted, and stock markets gave up their 2018 gains. The S&P 500 - as of the close on February 8th - was down 10.2% from its all-time closing high set on January 26th.

Everyone wants to find a "reason" for a correction, to explain what happened, especially when it takes them by surprise. And these days the prime culprit, according to the financial press, is interest rates heading higher. Some attribute this increase to rising wage pressures and inflation, some blame ballooning budget deficits. But beneath it all is a widely-held belief that stock market gains have been propped up by easy money and low interest rates – a sugar high.

Our answer to this: No! The stock market has been driven higher by earnings growth. In fact, given the recent downdraft in stock prices and the simultaneous increase in earnings estimates, the S&P 500 is now trading at roughly 16.7 times 2018 earnings estimates. That's not high by historical standards. In fact, that is lower than the 30 year average of 19.4.

More importantly, we have been expecting interest rates to go higher and have urged the Fed to raise rates more quickly. Given the pace of economic growth, the Fed is a long way from being tight. At the same time, economic data has been strengthening and earnings are booming. With 337 S&P 500 companies having reported Q4 earnings as of the 8th of February, 76.9% have beaten estimates, and earnings are up 17.0% from a year ago. This double-digit earnings growth is forecast to continue through 2018, even with higher interest rates. Corporate balance sheets are stronger than they have been in decades, spending is accelerating and the recent tax cut is an unambiguous positive.

Corrections scare the snot out of people. For many, who thought markets only go up, they feel like the end of the world. This is especially true when pundits start trying to explain the drop in stock prices by arguing that there are fundamental problems with the economy. This time is no different. But, in our opinion, this is an emotional correction, not a fundamental one. The US is not entering a recession, and higher interest rates over the next few years do not spell doom for the economy or markets.

In fact, because of better policy, economic growth this year looks set to accelerate to 3%+ (we are forecasting 4% real GDP growth in Q1). That is why interest rates are rising, because of better than expected economic growth. This is a good thing! Not a reason to sell stocks. In this case higher interest rates are a byproduct of a stronger economy, not the unwinding of QE or higher deficits.

Retail sales rose 0.4% in December, are up 9.0% annualized over the past six months and are up 5.5% year over year. January's ISM Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing indexes just hit the highest readings for a January in seven and 14 years respectively. In January, hourly earnings were up 2.9% from a year ago, the best reading since 2009. At the same time, initial claims have been below 300,000 for 153 consecutive weeks. Private payrolls were up 196,000 in January, and the unemployment rate is down to 4.1% and headed lower. And no, this is not a "part-time" recovery. In the past twelve months, full-time employment has grown by 2.39 million jobs while part-time employment is down 92,000! With 5.8 million unfilled jobs and quit rates at the highest levels of the recovery, there should be little question why the Fed continues to hike rates.

We use a Capitalized Profits Model (the government's measure of profits from the GDP reports divided by interest rates) to measure fair value for stocks. Our traditional measure, using a current 10-year Treasury yield of 2.85% suggests the S&P 500 is still massively undervalued. The model needs a 10-year yield of 3.9% today to conclude that the S&P 500 is already at fair value with current profits. Fair value, not over-valued.

What we focus on are the Four Pillars of Prosperity: Monetary Policy, Tax Policy, Trade Policy, and Spending & Regulation. So, let's see where those stand:

1. Monetary Policy – The Fed is still easy and will be for the foreseeable future. Remember, there are still over $2 trillion in excess reserves!

2. Tax Policy – Tax policy has improved dramatically on the margin, a tailwind for growth and earnings.

3. Trade Policy - The protectionist talk coming from Washington is worrisome, but, so far, there has been much more hot air than substance. In fact, total trade (exports + imports) sits at record highs.

4. Spending & Regulation – This is a mixed, but still positive, bag. On the regulation front, 2017 saw the biggest decline in regulation, at least since the Reagan-era, and possibly in history. That's great news for growth. The spending side is still a concern. The recent budget deal reached in the U.S. Senate boosts spending at least as fast as GDP growth over the next couple of years. That's not a recipe for long-term economic acceleration, but also not an immediate threat to growth.

The bottom line shows that the fundamentals of the economy are strengthening. Higher interest rates are a byproduct of a stronger economy. And, out of the four potential threats to the economy, only one is moderately negative.

It's not often you get a substantial pullback in the market when both economic and earnings growth are strengthening. Stay calm. Stay invested in equities. Don't fight the fundamentals.

Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Robert Stein, CFA – Deputy Chief Economist
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Travis Allen for Governor on: February 09, 2018, 07:43:48 AM
https://www.facebook.com/JoinTravisAllen/videos/1761944957231523/?hc_ref=ARQ-V3QykNFfV4bCNEXZKo3xNNjoGusKfQiS1n8aXuXxQpbAkq4rjKu1p1SM-PntJZ4

https://jointravisallen.com/
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Google is tracking you on: February 09, 2018, 07:39:36 AM
https://www.facebook.com/TuckerCarlsonTonight/videos/585398735128783/?hc_ref=ARRKts392ANwladWIF_wWV9zhMkyBhOjPZWd13nABAu8C5qc3PNv8Yp7truOKjpoc94
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / AEI: Baby Steps to cut spending on: February 09, 2018, 06:51:19 AM
http://www.aei.org/publication/if-entitlement-reform-is-too-hard-lawmakers-can-take-baby-steps/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTWpkbE5UazVaVEpsTTJFeCIsInQiOiJ1Q0F1ZUhubU9KVVJaUm45ZjRNdHRRajRxbjYya0cyKzEwbkMxVVR3eXkyUlV4MXRhc0ZsZnpFTjN1K2ZLSGlkUUxYdFYrVURmRkVKaERwbGEzMUZiSzFjbU04Qkp4Nm5YXC9aNmxpOUxYTEFcL09qYVUxOUJaU3dRT2JubTV0Zm9DIn0%3D
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / A dog and his owls on: February 09, 2018, 06:12:13 AM
https://www.boredpanda.com/dog-ingo-owl-friends-tanja-brandt/?media_id=1140126&utm_source=petninja&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=thebuzzdigger
241  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Filipino Martial Arts and Boxing on: February 09, 2018, 06:09:02 AM
TTT
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / FISA Wiretaps on: February 09, 2018, 05:32:05 AM
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fisa-wiretaps/story?id=45913892
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Volunteering, Giving, Charity, Tithing on: February 08, 2018, 06:34:50 PM
TTT
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / President Trump's poll tops Baraq's at same point on: February 08, 2018, 06:19:13 PM
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/feb/8/trump-approval-rating-tops-obamas-same-point-presi/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWWpRNE5tWTRaR0V5WkRFeSIsInQiOiJwd1dtQnQwWCtDNjNaMEVsZnIxRHhLT2JxRzJ4V3diSm55NTVvR1RWMTN6aG9aYUw4cnExYlh0WFdXRTJtZHoydHU4UlAyMllrVFZ6T1kyam5DMEdnK0h6WUdocElIXC9HVHRlT3R0cWlCVTQ5T3lleU1rbk9kZWJpQjRTb0tQMXcifQ%3D%3D's
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / McCarthy: And the biggest finger was Obama's on: February 08, 2018, 05:45:36 PM


http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/451053/not-comeys-decision-exonerate-hillary-obamas-decision
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / FBI missed classifed emails to/from Hillary on: February 08, 2018, 05:36:01 PM
http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/07/fbi-clinton-emails-marked-classified/

Hat Tip GM
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stratfor: Would Venezuela invade Guyana? on: February 08, 2018, 05:34:12 PM
 
       

Feb 8, 2018 | 20:54 GMT
5 mins read
Would Venezuela Invade Guyana?
According to an unconfirmed report, a Brazilian government delegation plans to meet with Guyana and Suriname about a possible Venezuelan military incursion into Guyana.
(BEYHANYAZAR/iStock)



    According to an unconfirmed report, a Brazilian government delegation plans to meet with Guyana and Suriname about a possible Venezuelan military incursion into Guyana.
    For Venezuela, entering Guyanese territory could delay an International Court of Justice border ruling and even grant Caracas a bargaining chip in amnesty negotiations with the United States.
    The incursion would come with great risks for Caracas, as it may invite a harsh response from Washington.

A Brazilian delegation's quick trip to Guyana and Suriname suggests things are moving beneath the surface of the border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana. On Feb. 7, Brazilian President Michel Temer approved a trip by Defense Minister Raul Jungmann, Justice Minister Torquato Jardim and Institutional Security Cabinet Chief Sergio Etchegoyen to Guyana and Suriname. According to Agencia Estado, the visit's purpose is to discuss border security with the Guyanese and Surinamese governments. However, an unconfirmed report in Brazilian paper O Antagonista claimed the real reason behind the visit was to share information that Brazil's intelligence services had learned about Venezuela considering a military incursion into Guyana.

Venezuela has claimed ownership over the Guyanese territory west of the Essequibo River since 1962. But recently, the U.N. Secretary General referred the border dispute issue to the International Court of Justice, which may issue a binding decision on the matter within the next several years. According to the O Antagonista report, Brazil's information claims that the Venezuelan government is considering siezing that territory. On Feb. 8, the Brazilian ministers visited their country's Roraima state, an area bordering Guyana and Venezuela that has seen tens of thousands of Venezuelan refugees pour across the border in recent months as unrest in the country grows.
248  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Stratfor: Would Venezuela invade Guyana on: February 08, 2018, 05:33:21 PM
Stratfor Worldview

 
      

Feb 8, 2018 | 20:54 GMT
5 mins read
Would Venezuela Invade Guyana?
According to an unconfirmed report, a Brazilian government delegation plans to meet with Guyana and Suriname about a possible Venezuelan military incursion into Guyana.
(BEYHANYAZAR/iStock)



    According to an unconfirmed report, a Brazilian government delegation plans to meet with Guyana and Suriname about a possible Venezuelan military incursion into Guyana.
    For Venezuela, entering Guyanese territory could delay an International Court of Justice border ruling and even grant Caracas a bargaining chip in amnesty negotiations with the United States.
    The incursion would come with great risks for Caracas, as it may invite a harsh response from Washington.

A Brazilian delegation's quick trip to Guyana and Suriname suggests things are moving beneath the surface of the border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana. On Feb. 7, Brazilian President Michel Temer approved a trip by Defense Minister Raul Jungmann, Justice Minister Torquato Jardim and Institutional Security Cabinet Chief Sergio Etchegoyen to Guyana and Suriname. According to Agencia Estado, the visit's purpose is to discuss border security with the Guyanese and Surinamese governments. However, an unconfirmed report in Brazilian paper O Antagonista claimed the real reason behind the visit was to share information that Brazil's intelligence services had learned about Venezuela considering a military incursion into Guyana.

Venezuela has claimed ownership over the Guyanese territory west of the Essequibo River since 1962. But recently, the U.N. Secretary General referred the border dispute issue to the International Court of Justice, which may issue a binding decision on the matter within the next several years. According to the O Antagonista report, Brazil's information claims that the Venezuelan government is considering siezing that territory. On Feb. 8, the Brazilian ministers visited their country's Roraima state, an area bordering Guyana and Venezuela that has seen tens of thousands of Venezuelan refugees pour across the border in recent months as unrest in the country grows.
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Schumer-McConnell deal on: February 08, 2018, 04:06:05 PM
http://thehill.com/policy/finance/372992-budget-deal-is-brimming-with-special-tax-breaks?userid=188403
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Informant says Moscow paid millions in bid to influence Clinton on: February 08, 2018, 02:34:05 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/08/informant-says-moscow-paid-millions-in-bid-to-influence-clinton.html
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